Friday, October 2, 2009

Where should we go for dinner?

Being an innkeeper is a deep responsibility. A frightening responsibility. Especially frightening when people want guidance to the "best" place to eat. What if they don't like the foods I like? What if they are more into ambiance than flavor? What if they go to the place I tried to discourage them from using and then complain that it was a waste of time and money? What if they hate the place I suggest???

Unlike a hotel concierge that often gets kickbacks from the restaurants I don't have any vested interest in any referrals. Heck, I doubt that most of the places I send the guests to enjoy have any idea that a Blueberry Cove Inn exists in Narragansett, RI.

So how do we decide which places are "guest worthy"? We offer a basket of menus for guests to browse through which helps. We sometimes hook them up with the restaurant's web page. We encourage guests to bring home menus if they try something we've never heard of. We quiz guests about their dining experiences. But, best of all, we actually get out once in awhile to try new places and revisit favorites to make sure they are still on the ball.

Just this week I went to the Midtown Cafe in Wakefield, RI. Yes, it is all of a five mile drive but you won't be disappointed. Located in the heart of the shopping district (which deserves its own blog) the window tables are a great spot for people watching. The interior is fresh, clean and wide open without being austere. Selecting just one item off of the lunch menu was difficult especially when I could glance at my fellow diners and see all kinds of yummy things being served. (One had the most beautiful grilled veggie plate I've ever seen and I don't even like some of the veggies being served.) I settled on a hanger steak sandwich with an incredible horseradish mayonnaise. The biggest surprise was the side of rosemary roasted potatoes. Cut like fries but roasted into sweetness they aren't something you see very often. As this was a business excursion I was compelled to try dessert. Although tempted by the chocolate offerings I fell in love with the raspberry and almond tart. The presentation was beautiful but my cell phone camera wasn't co-operating so you have to take my word for it.

Most of our restaurants are open year round. (A few take January off and very few close after Columbus Day.) Most of them offer specials or prixe fixe options. Come and visit and we'll try to hook you up with a good dining experience.